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Crookes deciduous decision pays off

SUGAR-BASED agribusiness Crookes Brothers looks set to reap a bountiful harvest from its decision to diversify into deciduous fruit in the Western Cape. In the company’s latest annual report MD Guy Clarke anticipated that deciduous production would continue to increase as new orchards come into production. Although warning that the rate of growth might slow next year (after the bumper crop of the current season,) Clark reaffirmed deciduous fruit would become increasingly important to the group in the future.

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Fabrinox supports local agricultural innovation

Agriculture is one of the oldest human undertakings and has come a long way since stone tools and ox-powered machinery. Automation is the name of the game on the modern farm – and is on the increase – allowing farmers and agri-processors to standardise operations and utilise costly manpower in the most efficient ways. The ROI on this is best seen in the toughest years, when drought and even fires necessitate maximum efficiency in every step of the agricultural process.   

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The PPECB supports the fruitful Western Cape

The Perishable Products Export Control Board (PPECB) is South Africa’s official export certification agency for the perishable produce industry. With a national footprint, the PPECB has 13 regional offices across South Africa, seven of which are in the Western Cape.

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Wine grape harvest 2016 nearing its end

More than half the 2016 South African wine grape harvest is already in tanks or barrels, after what will be remembered as one of the hottest, driest seasons in the past decade.

The 2016 harvest is significantly smaller than the past three years, which were characterised by record harvests. While regions such as Stellenbosch and Swartland are nearing the end of their harvest season, there are still quite a lot of wine grapes to be harvested particularly in Worcester and Klein Karoo.

According to the head of VinPro’s viticultural consultation service, Francois Viljoen, this vintage has tested winemakers’ skills. “In general, the acidity and alcohol levels were quite low and winemakers need to work smart to obtain good quality wines. However, smaller berries that resulted from the dry conditions could lead to concentrated flavours, while low alcohol wines will be received well by the market,” explained Viljoen.

He emphasised that regions where the grapes had already been harvested will benefit from rainfall in the next few months – especially restoring water resources for the 2017 season.

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